Fresh, ripe, and crushable, from a husband-and-wife team on the South African coast.
Producer: Storm Point
Region: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Grapes: Syrah, Cinsault, Carignane
Medium Body, Easygoing
Flavors: Red berries, wild herbs, fresh acidity.
Pairings: Indian takeout, burgers, grilled porkchops.
Younger vines mean this blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Carignane is a fresher, more vibrant expression of these grapes’ usually hearty tendency. “It’s crushable and food friendly,” Mann said. “Not without complexity, but it’s certainly easy to drink on its own.” Luscious red and purple berry fruit jump out on the nose and continue on the palate, with a bright line of acidity throughout and a lacy, fine herbal spice on the finish. Fine tannic structure gives this wine a serious edge despite its core of juicy fruit. Mann suggests pairing this blend with tacos or Indian food. “Anything with a little spice would be delightful,” she said.
Winemakers Mick and Jeanine Craven met working harvest in California, fell in love, and decided to travel the world working grape harvests together before settling in Jeanine’s native South Africa in 2011. The couple chose to found their estate in the subzone of Stellenbosch, a heralded growing region that Mann said is “similar to Napa, but the soil is about 600 million years older.” In addition to those ancient soils, Stellenbosch boasts a history of winemaking that surpasses most New World regions—and even some European ones. Portuguese explorers started traveling around the Western Cape of South Africa as early as the late 1400s, bringing vines for the production of sacramental wine with them. Today, Stellenbosch is considered one of the world’s most important “New World” growing regions, despite its lengthy history. Storm Point is an everyday alternative to the couple’s higher-end wines, which they bottle under the ‘Craven’ label. While Craven wines represent single-vineyard expressions of their own estate, Mick and Jeanine make Storm Point to show off Stellenbosch’s heritage and terroir.